Jan. 10, 2004
DAVIS, Calif. - Thomas Juillerat posted his first double-double of the season and the Aggies outscored the Roadrunners 7-2 over the final two minutes as UC Davis defeated Cal State Bakersfield, 59-50, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association men's game in front of 6588, the seventh largest crowd in Rec Hall history, Saturday night.
With the win the Aggies move to 6-5 on the season, 3-3 in CCAA play. They also snap a five-game home losing streak to the Roadrunners. Bakersfield drops its first conference game of the season and now stand at 9-2 overall, 5-1 in league action.
Trailing by 10 with just under four minutes remaining, the Roadrunners cut into the Aggie lead at the free throw line. Six successive Bakersfield free throws cut the deficit to four at 52-48, with two minutes to play. At the other end of the court, the Aggies were cold from the field, missing five straight shots over a six-minute span. Their only points in that stretch came from the free throw line, where they were 7 of 11.
Fowzi Abdelsamad's long jumper with one minute remaining pushed the Aggie lead back to eight at 56-48. That gave the Aggies an insurmountable lead as they won back-to-back conference games for the first time this season.
"Mentally, we were as focused as we have been all year," said Aggie head coach Gary Stewart. "Bakersfield is so well coached and they have great will. We knew we were going to have to execute to beat them and this was a great team effort."
Stewart was asked about playing in front of the seventh-largest crowd in Rec Hall history. "That's my dream, to see (Rec Hall) packed that way for every game. We greatly appreciate our fans."
Rommel Marentez scored the opening basket of the game as UC Davis raced to an 13-6 lead in the opening seven minutes. The Aggies went cold following that point, going almost five minutes without a field goal as Bakersfield took its only lead of the half, 14-13, at the 8:41 mark.
The teams exchanged baskets over the next two minutes before UC Davis scored nine unanswered points to push the lead to 30-20, with a minute and a half remaining. Four different Aggies scored in the run as the Roadrunners went four and a half minutes without scoring. Martin Rajniak ended the Roadrunner drought following a basket with :17 seconds left, cutting the deficit to eight at 30-22, entering halftime.
The Aggies were led by Juillerat's 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Marentez finished with a game-high 13, his second straight night leading the Aggies. In all five different players posted double-digit efforts, including 12 from Abdelsamad and 10 each from Robert Ehsan and Phil Rasmussen.
The Aggie defense held Bakersfield without a three-point basket for the firs time this season, going 0-12 from long range. Fred Nichols led the way with 11 points and 10 boards while Rajniak and Eddie Shelby each finished with 10.
UC Davis will next be in action on Friday when it faces UC San Diego in San Diego. Gametime is set for 7:30 p.m.
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